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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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Us 8, Chris Christie 7, Joe Biden 7, Jack Lew 6, Iran 5, U.s. 5, Cymbalta 3, Larry 3, Nra 3, Andrew Cuomo 3, Christie 2, Jackie Spear 2, Levinson 2, Andrea Mitchell 2, Robert Levinson 2, Noaa 2, Nbc 2, Geico 2, United States 2, Lance 2,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    January 9, 2013
    10:00 - 11:00am PST  

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whathat needs refreshing?nd new year, and a room we can work with a new collection of carpet that proves durable can be softer than ever. we can get for less and spread that softness even further. turns out, we can do even more than we thought we could. because this is the year of doing. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. roll out the new year with free whole home basic carpet installation on three rooms or more. right now on "andrea
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mitchell reports" -- >> i want it clear to the american public that on behalf of the president, we're reaching out to all parties on whatever side of this debate you fall, that the president is going to act. >> what will joe biden say when he meets with the nra at tomorrow's meeting? minutes from now, new york's governor andrew cuomo will announce a proposed ban on assault weapons. and he's now a cover boy. new jersey's governor gracing "time" magazine. >> one thing i hope everyone in america now clearly understands, new jersey, both republicans and democrats, will never stand silent when our citizens are being short changed. developing now in lower manhattan, piers are reopening after dozens are injured today when a ferry boat made a hard
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landing during the rush hour commute. and back in the swing of things at the state department, but look how hillary clinton responds when asked if she's looking forward to retirement. >> i don't know if that's the word i would use, but certainly stepping off the very fast track for a little while. >> and what's missing from this picture? we'll discuss. good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. from joe biden at the white house to chris christie in new jersey, andrew cuomo in albany, there's new energy for a comprehensive approach to gun violence control. chris cillizza, and kristen welker. thanks much to both of you. first of all, kristen, you were there today, joe biden opening the task force meetings for a brief photo opportunity saying something is going to get done. they have this end of the month deadline. it's going to be in the state of
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the union. but how comprehensive is this going to be and is it going to be any different from all of the other failed initiatives, frankly? >> well, we are expecting something to be quite comprehensive, andrea, and one thing out of the meeting is joe biden said the president is considering taking some executive actions. he's not sure what those actions are right now, but that's certainly something that's under consideration. we also expect some of the proposals that the vice president puts forth to include some legislative proposals, stiffer gun laws, including banning assault weapons, banning those high-capacity magazines, as well as dealing with the mental health aspect of this, improving mental health services, access to mental health services, and also dealing with the culture of violence and gun violence that seems to permeate the american culture. so i expect that it will be far reaching, and as you point out,
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he's set the deadline for the end of the month. he's meeting with all these groups today, victims rights groups, as well as gun safety groups, trying to get their input. tomorrow he'll be meeting with the nra, with walmart, we'll be focusing on that meeting to see if anything moves the needle that comes out of that meeting, because, of course, the nra and the white house seem to be pretty far apart on how to resolve this issue, andrea. >> the other big issue, of course, for this white house is the new cabinet, and the second-term leaders. chris cillizza, the worst-kept secret in town is perhaps as early as tomorrow jack lew is going to be named treasury secretary. you got a lot of us excited because you tweeted out jack lew's signature, it's the legit signature. this is the signature that's going to be on all the u.s. currency once he takes over as they recirculate the new bills.
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>> that signature is more in line with him being a doctor, andrea, maybe a reporter, not a secretary of the treasury. what i would say, somebody reminded me that tim geithner changed his signature a little bit when he became treasury secretary because he's going to be on the bill. so maybe. >> let's see it again. bring that picture back, because we just showed what it would look like. that is his signature. that's jack lew. if you want to go to him -- he may be a doctor, maybe he has a ph.d. he's not a medical doctor as far as i know. it's got to be the world's worst signature, looks more like a doodle. >> i wonder how he came up with it. >> assuming that's confirmed. one more quick thing, we showed you the picture that the white house photographer took of the president and his top advisers during one of the fiscal cliff deadline meetings in the oval office, and they swear to us that somewhere hidden valerie
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jarrett is sitting on the desk, so there is a woman somewhere in this picture, but christian, jack lew, assuming jack lew is named treasury tomorrow and there will be a male chief of staff replacing jack lew, where are the women? >> well, andrea, there's no doubt that women's advocacy groups are critiquing and criticizing the president for the fact his top cabinet appointments are all male. the white house pushing back against that, pointing to the fact, look, there are a number of women appointed here at the white house, at one count it's 43%, which is higher than the bush administration. >> just the same as the clinton administration, 43%. >> right. this is something the white house has been answering a lot of questions about. let's put it that way. yesterday jay carney was pressed on this issue. i asked about this issue a few weeks ago. he continues to say that diversity is one of the president's important
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initiatives, but if you look at the top people in his cabinet, certainly, this is a problem and women's advocacy groups are pointing it out. andrea? >> thank you very much. so to answer that question, among others, where are the women, joining me now, democratic senator from minnesota. we know where the women are, they are in the senate, at least 20 of them, yourself included. congratulations on your reelection. >> well, thank you, andrea. we're excited about all these new women coming into the senate. >> senator, what about the gun violence issue, because this is one of the issues you're addressing. you're talking about a comprehensive approach, and we looked at the map, the map that "usa today" had yesterday. mental health, generally across the nation, we get a "d" grade for mental health comprehensive care. minnesota among those states gets a "c" grade, you guys are about average.
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what about this gun control or gun violence control or taking a comprehensive approach, what do you think needs to be done? >> kristen got it right in talking about all the many complicated things that have to be looked at here that vice president biden's group is going to make recommendations on. first of all, mental illness, i'm a former prosecutor, there's a regulation here, we've seen an increase in these crimes, so that has to be a piece of it. better background checks. that was the issue in virginia tech, where we have now 19 states that have less than 100 records they've submitted for the background check national system to buy a gun. you have the issue, of course, of the high-capacity magazines, and if we can put some limits there. each of these shootings, you need to look at the facts. i'm a prosecutor, i believe at looking at evidence and you'll see a vast number of things that can be solutions here. it's not a one size fits all,
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and i think the fact that the people are open to looking at a number of things, including some conservative lawmakers who have been endorsed by the nra in the past and said we need to look at everything and make some changes. >> chris christie was on "morning joe" today talking about a comprehensive approach for some, i'm not suggesting he, but for some opponents of gun control, is talk about the mental health issues and the violent video games, is that a cop out, a way to try to get past doing anything substantive about controlling the assault weapons and the magazines? >> i don't think so. i think it's only a copout if you refuse to look at the other side of the equation here. clearly, when you look at the movie theater shooting in colorado and you look at what happened in newtown, the high-capacity magazines and assault weapons is something you have to look at in terms of reducing the number of deaths, but the other piece of this is
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mental illness. we should look at some of the violence in our culture, whether it's having video games with better ratings systems, those things should all be in the mix. >> as a senator, you're going to have to consider the confirmations of some of these new cabinet members, what about hagel and john brennan, because they have been controversial and have some opposition. >> well, first of all, with chuck hagel, you have someone who's decorated war hero, you have someone who served well in the senate, who has a lot of support from people. at the same time, you have senators who have legitimate questions. i think what's important here, andrea, we're finally going to have a hearing to have opportunity for the nominee to answer these questions instead of just having his name out there not being able to answer it. you've seen a number of senators that are open minded and give full consideration to his
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nomination. i was just concerned this kept going without a nominee, now there is a nominee for both positions and all of these concerns, as they should be, should be considered in the process. >> based on what you now know, do you think hagel will be confirmed? >> i have no chrrystal ball, i wouldn't have thought we'd be in the senate at 2:00 in the morning on new year's eve. i don't think anyone can really say, but i think there are a number of people who have been very open minded here and getting to the bottom of these concerns that have been raised and making sure that we have a good and thorough process. i think that's a positive thing and i'm glad the president's moved forward with the nomination. >> we showed earlier the picture pete souza took of the president and his advisers. we're now seeing a predominantly
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white male cabinet in the top posts. is there an issue for you and the lack of diversity so far? >> first of all, look what the president has done here, hillary clinton, can't get a stronger woman in as secretary of state, stronger president in. napolitano, karen mills, small business director, two supreme court nominees have been women, he does have a strong track record here. not all nominees have been announce ed yet. obviously, i'd like to see women there. it's important to reflect the country that he represents. on the senate issue, what a great thing to see all those 20 women in the senate, as i noted to you in the past, we already had our first ever in united states history traffic jam in the women's senate bathroom, so things are changing and i'm pleased to be the mentor to the new republican senator from nebraska, deb fischer. women in the senate have always
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worked together and the bigger our numbers, the better for the country. >> one thing, you always worked together in the past is the violence against women act, all 17 women voted for it. of course, it died in the house. are you going to try to resurrect that this session? >> we certainly are. this is an outrage. all 17 women in the senate, 68 votes in the senate for that act. it basically consolidated the number of programs, did new things with immigrant victims, american indian victims, that it's still sitting over at the house is a crime. when police officers that i used to work with as prosecutor go to a door and there's a victim of domestic abuse, they just do their job. that's what congress has to do here and reauthorize what's always been a bipartisan bill. the senate did its job, time for the house to do theirs. >> thank you very much, senator klobuchar. thanks for being with us today. >> we'll have more women on the
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softball team, congressional softball team to compete with your press team, andrea. we're glad about that. >> we'll do better this year. the young survivors coalition against breast cancer. thank you very much, amy klobuchar. >> thank you for all your work on that, thank you. still ahead, a public plea from the family of robert levinson, missing for six years in territorial iran, but now seen. chris christie, his take on his party's identity problem. i describe myself as a mother, a writer and a performer. i'm also a survivor of ovarian and uterine cancers. i even wrote a play about that. my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers. symptoms are not the same for everyone. i got sick...and then i got better.
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the family of former fbi man robert levinson, missing since he disappeared in iranian territory in 2007, as released pictures taken a couple of years ago. the retired fbi agent is seen in
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a orange prison jump suit holding signs taunting the u.s. pleading for help. levinson disappeared while on a private business trip. pete williams, nbc news justice correspondent joins me now from the supreme court. first of all, pete, what do we know about -- do we know any more about levinson other than we see this visual evidence proof of life a couple of years ago. we got sources that this is proof of life and there was a revig rated attempt to try to get him out and find out what the iranians know, but we've had very few clues, if any. >> that's right, these pictures were sent anonymously to the family in late 2010-2011, but his wife put them out to get more attention and build further pressure on what she believes is the iranian government that's holding him and also the u.s. to do more publicly to pressure iran.
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iran put out a statement through its representatives in the u.s. yesterday saying that they investigated it and have found no sign that he's in iran, but, obviously, the family doesn't believe that. the officials i've talked to say there's simply no evidence he's anywhere else. and so the still -- i guess it's fair to say the assumption of the united states is he's still somehow being held in iran by somebody and the family hopes of putting these pictures out will call new attention and maybe get some new interest stirred in this case. >> of course, with the state department's view is if someone is being held in iran, it is known to the top leadership. it's obviously known to the republican guard and others in charge. >> and the family agrees. >> the supreme court, where you are today, very interesting argument was heard today, where do the justices seem to be coming down or what kind of questions were they asking about the issue of whether someone can be forced to take a blood test
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when stopped for apparent drunken driving or suspicion of drunken driving? >> that's the question. normally the fourth amendment says it can't do a search and is well settled at taking blood by force is a search, that the police can't do a search without a warrant. now, there are some exceptions, and one exception is if the cops knock on the door and somebody is washing drugs down the drain. missouri, where this drunk driving arrest happened, says that's exactly the case here, every minute goes by, your body is metabolizing blood alcohol and the evidence is lost and that's enough, the state says, that you shouldn't have to ever get a search warrant when you arrest someone for drunk driving. but i think it's surprising the justices didn't seem to be buying that. they were agreeing with the aclu here that you need to have something more than fear the blood alcohol level will drop in order to justify a search without a warrant. i think, andrea, it seems the
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supreme court's not going to agree with missouri. interestingly, 25 states already ban taking blood tests without a warrant in these drunk driving cases. >> very interesting, pete, thank you very much. thanks for double duty there at the supreme court. whether it's the fight for sandy relief, tough talk about his own party or the impact on the 2012 election, chris christie is a reality waiting to happen. jonathan martin is a senior political reporter for politico and joins me now. chris christie is everywhere, on the cover of "time" magazine, "morning joe," the "today show," he always has a way of grabbing attention. certainly, the fact he's taking on his own party puts him in the front lines of the conversation about how to reinvigorate the republican party after two losses. >> he's a congenital newsmaker and it helps he lives not far from the hudson river in terms
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of national tv. he can be in a car and be in midtown manhattan pretty fast in a way that a governor of, say, louisiana can't do quite as easily. i think that certainly helps governor christie, but there's no question he is good copy, in terms of taking his own party or speaking out about the hurricane that the hip east coast, he's somebody that has a knack for getting attention. what i'm curious about is what the republican base, is he helping himself here of late and how's this all going to play when we're in iowa and new hampshire and south carolina in 2015 and 2016. that's the open question, i think. >> and, you know, does he play outside of new jersey where his popularity is now skyrocketing? this is an exchange between chris christie and matt lauer today. >> are you happy with the course of the republican party right now? >> matt, we've lost two national elections in a row, i'd say the answer is no. >> okay. >> i think a lot of folks would agree with that, yeah.
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>> where does he stand, because you'd have to say that as a northeast governor, he is far more, you know, down the middle or liberal than most of the people who dominate the primary process. how does he get through a republican primary? >> the question is twofold. first of all, it's his policy positions but also his manner. obviously, he has a blunt, jerseylike manner. how does that play in iowa and south carolina? andrea, we don't have to look far in history to see where some candidates from the northeast have struggled in national gop primaries. rudy giuliani comes to mind. he never fit in in a place like iowa or new hampshire, which demands a certain kind of personal attention. i think it's going to be fascinating to watch christie put on the policy side and also the personal side in terms of what kind of fit he is for a gop primary that is focused on the south and midwest. >> all good stuff.
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thank you very much, jonathan. >> thanks, andrea. next up, alarming numbers now from noaa. is this our wake-up call on climate change? we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership.
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only flood insurance covers floods. ♪ visit floodsmart.gov/pretend to learn your risk. there is no exaggerating here. 2012 broke all records. it was the hottest year ever recorded in the continental u.s. >> one out of every three americans had at least ten days where they had to deal with temperatures at or above 100 degrees. that's a lot of heat. >> nbc's chief environmental correspondent ann thompson joins me now. we enjoy it now in january, but it's a serious problem and indicator of how alarming this climate change s. >> it is, andrea. what is significant about this record is we beat it by a full degree.
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now, that doesn't sound like much, but it's like breaking the 100-meter dash by a full second. usually in the weather world when they break records, it's by a tenth of a degree or hundredth of a degree, this was a full degree. it should be a wakeup about climate change, because climate change played a role in this, according to the noaa scientists. yes, there are natural variations in our weather. we're going to see heat waves, droughts, and hurricanes, but what climate change does, the greenhouse gases that we burn, they act like steroids in our environment, and they amplify everything, and they make heat waves more intense, they make the drought that still grips 61% of this country, makes it more intense. that drought that we saw last year, we're dealing with this year, the low levels in the mississippi river, that's going to go into next year. part of the problem is we're not having enough precipitation come down, not enough snowfall and
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rain to help alleviate that drought. >> what about the ice melt and effects of -- i know you've been to greenland and all over the globe, really, to witness the effects on animal life and ultimately on our own weather systems. >> it affects everything. they are seeing the ice melt in greenland faster than they ever anticipated. it is happening much faster than scientists ever expected, and that's one of the many alarming things. the other thing about having warmer weather, while you and i enjoy it because we don't have to put on heavy boots, scarves, gloves, all of that, it changes our ability to grow things. we are seeing growing zones in the united states migrate farther north. we are seeing butterflies that used to live in texas and louisiana. they are now showing up in massachusetts. it is changing everything around us, not just our ability to ski in the winter in new england or to not wear a heavy coat in the middle of january. >> well, overall, very alarming
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news, but we could use a little heat here on january 21st when we're out covering the inaugural. >> it's supposed to be cold. that's the scary thing. >> doesn't make it feel any better. >> i know. >> anne thompson, thanks very much. as our nation grapples with gun control, we'll hear from a survivor of gun violence. (dog) larry,larry,larrryyy. why take exercise so seriously,when it can be fun? push-ups or sprints? what's wrong with fetch? or chase? let's do this larry! ooh, i got it, i got it! (narrator) the calorie-smart nutrition in beneful healthy weight... includes grains and real chicken, because a healthy dog is a playful dog. beneful healthy weight. find us on facebook to help put more play in your day. diarrhea, gas, bloating?
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hey hun, remember you only need a few sheets. hmph! [ female announcer ] charmin ultra soft is so soft you'll have to remind your family they can use less. ♪ charmin ultra soft is made with extra cushions that are soft and more absorbent. plus you can use four times less. hope you saved some for me. mhmm! you and the kids. we all go. why not enjoy the go with charmin ultra soft. 326 passengers were on board a new york ferry earlier today when it made a hard landing and injuring as many as 57 people. so far, no fatalities have been reported, but at least two passengers are in critical condition. nbc's ron allen has the latest from new york's south street seaport. what caused this, do we know yet? i know the ntsb is there already. >> reporter: we don't know yet. we were just able to speak to the owner of the company called
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sea streak. the pier is back open, too, i should tell you. the owner of the company was here and said a number of things. he said, for example, the captain of the ship was in control when this accident happened, that he has passed a breathalyzer test, they are still waiting for the results of a drug test, which is standard in these kinds of situations. the captain has been with the company ten years, he knows this route, has been captaining this route many, many years, and he also said he knows a lot of the passengers who do this. these were commuters coming from new jersey, the normal run. that's when this happened about 8:00 in the morning as the ship was pulling into the dock. the reason so many people were injured is because people were standing, they had gotten out of their seats and were ready to get off the boat when the accident happened, so people fell on top of each other. the two critical injuries, we understand, one of them happened when someone fell down the stairs from the upper deck to a lower deck. that's why their injuries were more severe. we don't know their condition, just critical, but not the
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severity at that point. the investigation continues right now. the owner of the ship says the captain was going what he thought was a proper speed, but clearly, something went horribly wrong. andrea? >> thank you very much, ron allen. when she was a young congressional aide, jackie spear was gunned down in jonestown, guyana, by a hit squad when he and a late congressman were on a congressional mission. investigating cult leader jim jones. congresswoman now elected to congress, jackie spear is vice chair for the gun violence task force and joins me now. good to see you again, congresswoman. tell me, how does your own experience in jonestown, of course, we lost an esteemed correspondent and cameraman in that tragedy also on that same landing strip, and i was then there to cover afterwards. how does that experience with
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violence inform your attitude towards guns, and i know there are many other incidents since, in san francisco in particular, that have made you more passionate even about this issue. >> i think any of us who have been victims of gun violence, gabby, ron barber, any of us who have survived, feel an obligation to speak out and to do something because the lives that were lost should not have been lost in vain. much like the families that are grieving in newtown and will rise up on this issue, they want to make sure that the lives of those little children are not lost in vain. >> do you sense a change in attitude in congress? i know you're not back in session yet, but you were after newtown. has this changed anything, or is there a very short window and things have to be acted on quickly while the memories are still so raw? >> i do think we have to act
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quickly, because there is a super structure within many organizations to try and tamp down any effort. since 2004, there have been efforts that have been very successful in congress to undue laws that were in place that gave us the ability to track criminals, to track the data around guns, to develop the kinds of laws to protect law-abiding american citizens. and we have got to address them and address them swiftly. >> now, the chair of this is congressman thompson, your colleague from california. he was the head of the sportsmans caucus at one point. he's a gun owner and former military guy, a veteran, what is the mix on your caucus? your task force, rather. >> the task force is actually, you know, balanced with those who are members of the nra and great sportsmen, those who have
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been victims of gun violence, those who are concerned about the mental health issues that haven't been addressed, so my hope is the recommendations that will come from the task force will be ones that can be embraced by everyone. now, there are those of us who want to go beyond what the recommendations will certainly be from the task force. i think that we need a national gun registry. the truth is that we only have machine guns that are registered in this country, and there's 400,000 of them. we also need to give the atf, the alcohol, tobacco, and firearms, authority to do what they used to do in terms of tracking criminal data and to be able to hold on to information about those who purchase guns for more than 24 hours. right now in this country what they call a straw purchaser, someone who has a clean record, can go into any gun dealer, buy as many guns as they want, then take those guns and sell them to
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criminals or persons who wouldn't pass the background check, and there's no way of tracking it. so we've got to do some very common sense things to tamp down the access to guns by persons that shouldn't have them. we all believe in protecting the second amendment, that sportsmen should be able to have their guns, people who want to protect themselves and their homes have guns, we don't need assault weapons and we don't need high-capacity magazines. >> jackie speier, thank you very much. >> thank you. some republican politicians and strategists believe the republican party needs to rethink its positions on women's reproductive issues after losing the women's vote again in the presidential race. joining me now is republican strategist long associated with conservatives, who has written a
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provocative new york times op ed on how to turn the party in a new direction. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. i am deeply pro life. >> antiabortion, to use the term i think is more value neutral. you instead, though, are thinking that republicans need to be either less aggressive or more open minded about contraception. why? >> well, first of all, i'm not particularly that far out on a plank in this one. previous republican presidents have maintained or increased funding for services provided by the federal government. the facts are pretty clear. one dollar spent on contraceptive services results in a $4 to $6 decrease in spending for the federal government. this seems to be not only a pro life issue, it's actually an economic issue for the republican party. also right now you've got 1.2 million abortions in the country right now. recent studies have shown if you
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provide contraceptive services independent of costs or -- in particular, long-acting contraceptive devices and products to women, the likelihood of abortion in their lives dramatically decreases. typical among women, 20 abortions per population of 1,000. if women are given long-acting contraceptives, they are able to reduce that number between four and seven abortions per 1,000. that, to me, seems to be one of the most pro life objectives one can possibly ask for. >> would you still agree with the idea of denying funding to planned parenthood, because 3% of the work it does, even though its work is predominantly on women's health issues, 3% is separately funded, privately funded, abortion services? >> the republican party has been emphatically clear and should continue to be emphatically clear, we do not believe federal funds should go to abortion-providing entities.
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title 10 is not the only program that gives money to planned parenthood. you have family planning services delivered across the country, but i'm not here to talk specifically about planned parenthood, what they do. >> we did interviews yesterday, this is what she had to say on the subject. >> even in the presidential race where we had mitt romney, who pledged to not only get rid of planned parenthood, but overturn roe. consistently we've seen women and men in america simply don't want to revisit this. what they do want to do is make sure we're providing women access to birth control, health care, and that's what we at planned parenthood spend our time doing. >> how do you change the conversation from a republican perspective so you don't get into one of these primary debates where you have rick santorum frankly pulling some of the other candidates over on this issue and it makes it
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harder for mitt romney as the general election candidate, as the nominee, to get back in the game? >> well, my hope is that the republican party is, indeed, now at a place, and you'll see leaders stepping forward to talk about this. we're pro contraception. we believe that an adult woman who would like to have contraceptive services should receive them and if the federal government should step in to help ensure that happens, that's a proper role for the federal government to play. independent government concerns, my argument would be you have many different antiabortion or pro life organizations out there concerned about increasing contraceptives ability and therefore increasing risky behavior. if a woman is inclined to be remotely interested in at-risk behavior, my hope would be that it would be in not only the government's interest, but the culture's interest she not become pregnant in that same process. half of all unplanned
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pregnancies end in abortion, excuse me, 4 out of 10, and when a woman does get pregnant and does not have adequate contraceptive care, it's because she doesn't have adequate insurance, doesn't make enough to provide insurance, or isn't on medicaid. i think it's in the interest of the culture and budgetary interest for the united states. >> to be continued. thank you very much for coming in. >> thank you. up next, gun control. more on the debate. the politics, how likely is it that anything will actually change? living with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis means living with pain. it could also mean living with joint damage. help relieve the pain and stop the damage with humira, adalimumab. for many adults with moderate to severe ra,
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>> to be continued. in the wake of recent tragedies, there is growing support across the country for some kind of gun control measures, but opponents have enjoyed an outsized reputation for being able to defeat members of congress who dare to defy them. joining me now, eugene robinson
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from the post. euge eugene, first to you. the nra is feared on the hill. are they as effective as they claim to be? they are going to be meeting with joe biden tomorrow, which is going to be a very interesting meeting. >> going to be a very interesting meeting, andrea. nobody bats 1,000. the nra has been very successful. i have a feeling this time might be a bit different. i think they'll have to swallow some new gun control laws eventually that they don't like. >> and, chris, we're talking about gun control laws. is the most likely thing some sort of assault weapons ban or more likely going to be in the mental health arena? also curious as to what joe biden was talking about today when he said he could do some things by executive order. >> right now democrats are trying to lay out an array of options. republicans are letting them. before i came on, i talked to house and senate republican leadership aides. where are you at, what's the plan, we're waiting for the vice president.
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they are not interested in taking the lead on this. they are kind of slow walking in it. when you look at the democrats, they are very gung ho, pardon the pun, i guess. senator bloomenthal has a background check, but i'm interested in what the president could do through the attorney general on executive order. i think with the house the way it is, it's going to be very difficult to pass a number of these pieces through that body. >> then we have to talk about the funding. eugene, we're facing the battle of the sequester and domestic discretionary money is shrinking rapidly. it's already shrunk. when we talk about mental health clinics and state initiatives, the state is going to be asked about unfunded medicine at a time -- mandates. >> where is that money going to come from. i don't know if there's going to be funding for mental health or
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any of this, for that matter. i do think that politically the field is kind of tilted this a slightly different direction. the president's approval rating is up something like 56%. he does have some capital to spend on this, and there seems to be, if not a consensus, a pretty solid body of public opinion in favor of perhaps an assault weapons ban, perhaps a ban on large magazines. and, again, we know that house republicans can be stubborn in terms of resisting things that they, as a matter of principle, don't believe in, but this is going to be a tough one for them, i think, unless public opinion really fades away, and i don't see that happening this time. >> one other issue is eric holder. we saw him there next to the vice president. he really was hampered, i think, politically by the fast and furious investigation and all of the hammering he got from house
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republicans. chris, is republicans. is he going to be able to be a strong lead or this? he feels passionately about it. >> he will be a sidekick to the vice president and the vice president that we just saw does have a good relationship with senate republicans and democrats are very happy to see the president go on the campaign trail on these events to do outside in. when you look at the polling, congress was less popular than root canals, colons on copy and car needs. he can do an outside in approach and be helpful. >> you have andrew cuomo and chris christie and governors speaking out about this. >> also you have people like gabby giffords, for example and the organization for gun control and mayor bloomberg who is
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against illegal guns and the representative here today in the white house and on the hill. you have got some firepower, pardon the pun, the favor of gun control this time that you haven't had in previous occasions. >> editorial comments that mike bloomberg, one great mission he can do since he is term limited now, to keep spending his money and his heart on what he cares about so much. >> $20 billion to pend. >> that's a nice bit of cash. thank you very much. good to see you and thanks again. which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours. that's next on "andrea mitchell reports." why did i switch to natural instincts? it's healthier, and the only one clinically proven. with aloe, vitamins, and no ammonia.
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which political story will make headlines. it will be a busy day. we are looking at jack, likely the announcement to treasury. the baseball hall of fame announcement will come in the next hour and we will find out about some of the others who had brushes with the accusations of steroids that get into the hall of fame and karzai on the pill today and tomorrow with hillary clinton. >> who said that post election wasn't going to be busy? i think the announcement will close with the exception of the chief of staff, the early happenid pace. i think frankly we will open up more criticism about the nature of who he picked if he picks them, that's the chief of staff and five white males. >> jack was disliked by republicans on the hill during the last round of negotiations.
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that's for you as the director and ran circles around the staff. that does it for us. this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." >> great to see you. joe biden said the white house is prepared to take executive action when it comes to gun control and addressing the violence with guns in our country. what did he mean by that remark? we will have a live report at the white house. connecticut congresswoman rosa dell oro will join us and joins lawmakers and everyone in the public outraged over aig's board debating whether to sue the government after being bailed out by taxpayers. aig should not bide the hand that get them. will they? also coming up, lance armstrong
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wheels on to oprah winfrey's so far. will lance make a confession? we will find out and have more from the "sports illustrated" writer who followed lance's every move. what he is hearing about the big interview. sorry. sore knee. blast of cold feels nice. why don't you use bengay zero degrees? it's the one you store in the freezer. same medicated pain reliever used by physical therapists. that's chilly. [ male announcer ] new bengay zero degrees. freeze and move on.
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